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Guide to Purchasing Chemicals for School


Depending on your location, getting chemicals quickly may be your biggest problem. It’s not like you can go down to the grocery store and pick up bottles of glucose, acetic acid, or sodium bicarbonate… Actually, you can get all those things and more if you know the common names: corn syrup, white vinegar, and baking soda respectively. Even if you can’t find the right chemical locally, you can order it online and often get it within a couple of days. Drug stores and hardware stores also carry common chemicals used in science experiments at school. Other chemicals that can be found relatively easily include magnesium sulfate (epsom salt), acetone (nail polish remover), and calcium sulfate (plaster of Paris).

Sometimes, it’s important to know what grade chemical you need. While most applications require lab grade, some are fine with industrial-grade, which has more impurities. Other experiments require reagent-grade chemicals because impurities can disturb the results of the experiment. If you have questions about what you need, ask your chemistry teacher or talk with a rep at a chemical sales company.

Safety should always be the number one priority of any scientist no matter what level. If you’re using chemicals in an experiment (or at home for cleaning), it’s important to know what you shouldn’t mix together. Ammonia and bleach are a poisonous combination, but both are used to clean. Many chemicals come with an MSDS label to explain the dangers, toxicity, corrosiveness, or oxidizing properties of the chemical and how to use it safely. Always follow the directions when dealing with chemicals.

At Hi Valley Chemical, we are a family-owned business with more than 40 years of experience. As a small business, we want to help other small businesses and individuals succeed with their chemical needs. Education is on of the most important things we can do for a child, and having access to the proper chemicals and lab equipment for school use makes the difference between a successful experience and continued motivation and a failed experiment and disappointment. Contact us to get the best in lab grade chemicals, so your students can experience the unbridled joy of scientific discovery through experiential learning.